Where We Began
Two Belgian brothers, Tony and Jimmy Geeraerts, were travelling in South-East Asia when they were confronted by the overwhelming levels of poverty around them. They were especially affected by conditions in Cambodia, one of the world's poorest countries. When the brothers went back home, the images they had seen stayed with them and would not let them be, so they decided to take action. They got help from relatives and friends and founded a non-profit organization called Little Hearts.
They rented and renovated an old school in Phnom Penh and in May 2009, opening their doors to 50 orphans. Three years later, the government decided to sell the building, so the Little Hearts family had to move. They decided to put up a new orphanage, and started construction in Arey Ksat, a green, rural town just outside the capital. Little Hearts’ new home officially opened in 2013, and it can accommodate upto 80 children and the staff that work with them. At this point, Tony decided it was time to be a real father to these kids. He left Belgium, selling all his possessions and permanently relocating to Phnom Penh. He now lives with the children of Little Hearts on a full-time basis.
What We Do
Little Hearts is not just a house. It’s a home where our children live like brothers and sisters. We care for them, educate them, and teach them the life skills they will need to become independent adults. We give them all the love and support they need to grow into happy, successful, responsible citizens. In additional to school, our children participate in extra-curricular activities like taekwondo, hockey, swimming, traditional Khmer dancing, arts & crafts, and much more. They are also involved in household chores such as cooking, cleaning, and gardening.
Education is one of the most essential tools that a growing child needs. It helps kids achieve their goals and realize their dreams, breaking their way out of the cycle of poverty.
This is why a significant portion of our budget is spent on education. All our children attend school, even the youngest. In Cambodia, children only spend half the day at school, so Little Hearts offers supplementary classes in English, mathematics and computer science at the orphanage. These classes are taught by experienced Cambodian teachers. After class, the kids are assigned homework. Our goal is to ensure that every child that we take under our wings grows into an educated, successful and responsible adult. We want to offer them everything we can to ensure that they have a bright future.
Little Hearts is located in the village of Arey Ksat, and we enjoy supporting this community. All the children in Arey Ksat are invited to join our supplementary classes at the orphanage, and at the moment, more than 100 of them study with us every day at no charge. We also buy school supplies for these neighbourhood kids, and whenever we invite a doctor or dentist to treat our Little Hearts children, we invite the local kids to get free medical care. We would like them all to share the bright future that we are offering the residents of Little Hearts. In addition to helping the village children, we support 9 families from the Sa Ang District. Every month, we visit them, bringing food, clothing, and financial support for their children’s education.
Until recently, there was a massive waste problem in Arey Ksat, the village where the orphanage is located. Residents had no reliable form of garbage collection, so waste was dumped carelessly and sometimes burned in public. All this unregulated garbage was affecting the health of our Little Hearts children and the community as a whole. We could no longer stand by idly, so Tony developed an action plan. He named it CAKE, which stands for Clean-up Archetype for Kids & Environment. CAKE has been active since October 2016. Every week, we collect about 35 tons of garbage from about 1200 families in and around Arey Ksat.
Over the years, Little Hearts has grown through voluntary assistance from Belgium. The Belgian team includes Tony Geeraerts, Jimmy Geeraerts, Dimitri Segers, Jo Offeciers, Jan Offeciers, Joost Zweegers, Alain Heureux, Katrine Horemans, and Patricia Geeraerts. Our Cambodian staff continues to grow every day and are motivated to help all our Little Hearts.
We are constantly looking for sponsors to ensure the continued operation of our orphanage. Every donation, large or small, makes a difference for our children. All donations are fully invested in the operation and development of the orphanage, and in the education of our children.
You can also have your school, club, organization, or company launch an event to support Little Hearts. Feel free to contact us if you would like to work with us. We are always happy to share details on who we are and what we do.
Beneficiary Account Name: Little Hearts VZW
Account Number: 103 0394838 19
SWIFT Code: NICABEBB
IBAN: BE39 1030 3948 3819
Beneficiary Bank: Crelan Bank
Help is always welcome. We have residential volunteer programmes that run for a minimum of three months. If you are over 22 years and would like to spend some time at Little Hearts, please contact Dimi Segers: firstname.lastname@example.org